California Approves Legislation to Preserve Net Neutrality Protections

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The California State Senate approved a bill to keep the net neutrality rules that protect consumers. The legislation will also ensure that consumers will have fair and reasonable access to the internet.

On Monday, California State Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de León said Senate Bill 460 passed with 21-12 vote.  He is the author of the legislation, which now moves to the General Assembly for consideration.

Under SB 460, internet service providers (ISPs) are prohibited from blocking lawful content, applications, services or non-harmful devices. ISPs are also forbidden from throttling lawful internet traffic and engaging in paid prioritizations.

Additionally, the legislation prohibits ISPs from interfering with customers’ ability to select, access, and use broadband internet service, lawful internet content, applications, or devices.

Furthermore, ISPs are also forbidden from using deceptive and misleading marketing practices that misrepresent the treatment of internet traffic or content to its customers.

According to Sen. de León, “In today’s digital world, the internet is central to our democracy, economy, and way of life. SB 460 protects a level playing field for our online businesses and gives consumers greater transparency about the services we all rely on every day.”

California among 22 states challenging FCC’s repeal of net neutrality

In December, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to repeal net neutrality despite strong oppositions from consumers and other stakeholders.

California is among the 22 states that sued the FCC to stop its repeal of net neutrality. The states believe that the FCC’s action will harm consumers, businesses and everyone who cares about a free and open internet. It will turn ISPs as “gatekeepers—allowing them to put profits over consumers.”

Meanwhile, in the U.S. Senate, Sen. Ed Markey introduced a bipartisan legislation to restore net neutrality. In the House of Representatives, Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn sponsored a bill to ensure an open internet.  On the other hand, Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney’s bill will prevent the FCC from dismantling net neutrality rules.